Brighton and Hove City Council leader Warren Morgan
COUNCIL tax will rise by the maximum 4.99 per cent for the second year running next spring, if the city’s Labour administration passes budget measures announced today.
Preliminary proposals for Brighton and Hove’s 2018/19 financial year reveal the council’s intention to increase tax to meet service demand while cutting spending by £13 million in order to balance the budget.
The tax increase, which would follow a 4.99 per cent rise this year and 3.99 per cent in 2016, will mean the council tax bill for a Band D households will be around £200 a year higher next year than it was in 2015/16.
Between 80 and 90 council jobs will be lost through voluntary redundancies and natural wastage, plus a further 118 which will transfer to the new charitable trust set up to run the Brighton Pavilion.
An additional £3 million has been set aside to support children in care, and an extra £6 million is budgeted to meet the rising costs of adult social care.
And around £10 million has been earmarked for major projects the administration believes will ultimately benefit the city’s economy including £1 million for the redevelopment of Shelter Hall at the foot of West Street, and £1 million to match hoped-for government fund to renovate Madeira Terraces.
This morning council leader Warren Morgan told The Argus there would be no major cuts to frontline services and that most of the savings had come from back-office efficiency measures.
The figures, which will be reported in greater detail in tomorrow’s edition of The Argus and later this week, specify around £12 million of the savings needed with £1 million still to be identified.
Councillor Morgan said his minority administration anticipates receiving the votes it needs from Conservative councillors at the time of the final budget debate and vote in February, subsequent to debates, while expecting opposition from the Greens.
The proposals will be debated at the powerful Policy Resources and Growth committee meeting next Thursday before horse-trading gets underway between now and February. The council is legally mandated to set its budget and council tax policy by March 11, 2018.
Source: The Argus